Last year we met with hundreds of brand managers and market researchers to discuss brand positioning and one of the most common questions was “what do you think of repositioning?” A lot of electronic and traditional ink has been spent on this topic, but since the question keeps coming up we thought it would be best to spend more time putting some perspective around it to clarify things a bit.
We are convinced that positioning is the foundation for a successful marketing plan. It is positioning that brings focus to all areas of promotional communication. Using positioning as a baseline ensures that a brand's promise is communicated consistently to its target audience. That is why each month Brand Engineers will highlight a specific aspect of positioning for you.
In spirit of the holidays we thought that it would be nice to give something back to our readers-In addition to our 12 Days of Positioning blog series the Brand Engineers team has compiled the first of a quarterly eBook series we'd like to call the PositioningTip Collection
Our PositioningTip series was origianlly developed with the understanding that the concept of positioning may be easy to grasp, but that the finer points and actual development may be a difficult thing for people to fully wrap their heads around. This eBook, and its future installments, are designed to provide readers with a collection of ideas that walk them through the various levels of positioning, helping them better grasp the learnings of our experience and to think more critically about this core strategic principle.
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As busy marketers, we often quickly define our competitive set as the products or services that fall in our product class. If you have been reading our Positioning Tips® you already know to look outside of the products that are explicitly in the class to determine those that are part of the consideration set for your customers.
In 1962, Avis CEO Robert Townsend was desperate to find a way to make his ailing company profitable. The story goes that he spoke to employees to try and figure out how to “right the ship” and with the help of their ad agency, DDB, they penned the now famous and iconic tagline “We try harder”. At the time, it’s pretty certain that neither Townsend, DDB, nor Paula Green--the copywriter credited with actually crafting the phase--realized they had set the wheels in motion to create one of the most iconic and storied brand positionings in history.
You have been bombarded with articles, tips, emails, and diatribes explaining the importance positioning plays in the perceptions of brands. It is also inarguable that the creation of a strong emotional perception of a brand can make the difference between mediocrity and blazing success. From Amazon to Twitter, and Harley-Davidson to Avis (more on Avis in next month’s tip) most of us can site many examples of well-positioned brands that own distinct space in the market and in the mind.